Bits: changes to HFP for August, have lunch with Clare Smyth, BAEC drops Atlantis / One & Only

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News in brief:

Changes to Head for Points posting for August

As is now traditional, Head for Points will be dropping the ‘three posts per day’ schedule for August.

History shows that there isn’t a great deal of news about this month.  If there are three stories worth covering then we’ll do it.  Given that we work a little in advance, I am fairly sure it will be three per day this week at least.

I will also take the opportunity to update a few older reference articles for the benefit of new readers.  If there is nothing worth covering, though, we won’t bother.  If you don’t get three emails in the morning, don’t panic!

There will definitely be new content every day so continue stopping by.  And, if you’re at work twiddling your thumbs because all of your colleagues are away, remember that our ‘Favourites’ page here has links to the best of our older articles.

(If you want to see what you missed in years gone by, another interesting game – for desktop and tablet readers – is to scroll down the right-hand sidebar to ‘Head for Points by Month:’ and randomly picking a month from the last six years.  It is fascinating to see what has and hasn’t changed.)

Have lunch with Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth has a surprisingly low public profile as a chef.  This is, perhaps, an odd thing to say about someone just voted “Best Female Chef in the World” but few people knew that she was head chef at Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea when it was collecting three Michelin stars year after year.

Smyth opened her own restaurant, Core, in Notting Hill last Autumn.  On 9th October, Marriott Moments is organising a special lunch event.

Tickets have been offered in batches over recent months – I redeemed 32,000 Marriott points for a pair earlier in the Summer and will be there on 9th October.  The final batch of auctions are ending soon.

There are two offers.  The first is two places at a champagne and canape reception hosted by Clare followed by a three course lunch with paired winesYou can bid for that here.  Two lots end on 9th August whilst the final lot ends on 18th August.   There are three further lots on the Starwood auction site which close on 7th September.

The second offer which will undoubtedly go for a higher points price – although has no bids as yet – is a cookery class with Clare followed by the reception and lunch outlined above.  You can bid for that here – the closing date is 30th August.

Earn Avios Atlantis the Palm Dubai

British Airways Executive Club ends Kerzner International Resorts partnership

The Avios-earning partnership with Kerzner International Resorts ended yesterday.

This means that you can no longer collect Avios when you stay at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco or any One & Only resort.

If you have already booked, you will still earn Avios (2 per US$1 spent on accommodation only) on stays until 31st October 2018, as long as you booked directly and not via a tour operator.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. OT – Any advice on the best method for checking BAEC reward availability for Aer Lingus once is removed?

    Obviously you can call up BA, but asking them to check 20+ different dates or options seems a hassle.

    • United and Qantas used to show Aer Lingus availability but it was never an exact match with what BA had. However, let’s be clear, is NOT going away. Where do you think Aer Club members are meant to book redemptions?

      Open an Aer Club account (which IS an account but won’t be closed) and all will continue as it does now.

  2. O/T – Will one get 9000 bonus points for self-referring from Gold to BA card?

  3. Anybody seen anything about a new IHG Accelerate promo? They are usually announced in advance but not always. Have seen nothing for the next quarter.

    • Often nothing this month, or a US-only promo. Not expecting to see it back until Sept.

      • Cheers Alan, seems odd that they do not want to encourage business in August. I have been holding off on 4 stays but i guess I will just redeem some points.

  4. OT Rob,
    How much is a taxi from AUH to Madinat? Should we prebook? We need a 7 seater

    • We paid around £40 last time. 62 minutes, I timed it! For a seven seater you might want to prebook if you want absolute security that it will be there although I have always seen minibus taxes there – the locals tend to travel in large groups ….

  5. I’d put this down to an IT glitch, at some point expect Amex to catch up on this, if they dont then consider it a bonus. There was one time when i took the the Plat from scratch and it was 4 months before they charged me the fee. I cancelled a few months later on got my pro rata refund….

  6. Charlie T. says:

    OT: I saw a BA Boeing 767 (I think) at AMS this morning. Does anyone know if this is a regular thing and does it have a Club World config in business class?

    • They use these on some heavy duty peak time business services, eg Frankfurt. They have the old style (Blue) Club Europe seats.

    • Chris L says:

      Sadly no Club World seats, but still a much nicer Club Europe experience than an A320, especially if you’re in the forward cabin which is nice and separate. The old CE seats are much nicer too – more legroom and space, though it’s a 2-2-2 layout so no free middle seats at the windows. Solo travellers should choose the middle seats which do have a free middle seat between them. The window pairs are perfectly good for a couple.

    • AspirationalFlyer says:

      Yes. They used to fly them domestic periodically too. I’ve travelled on the 767 on various European routes: Athens, Madrid, Stockholm, Frankfurt and Istanbul.

      • the real harry1 says:

        How do you interested guys actually know what plane you’re flying on? I just get on a bus that takes me from A to B.

        • Not difficult, once you know what they are they are then easy to identify as most are quite distinctive despite all being winged tubes. At fundamental level Boeing’s have a ducks ass and generally no winglets while Airbus does have winglets and a cone at their ass. Beyond that it is mostly just size and shape. Easy to distinguish between different family but a little more difficult within family, say an a320 and an a321. I am sure you can distinguish between Mrs Harry and Debbie Harry but can you distinguish between the Real Mrs Harry and her sister if she has one?

        • Michael Jennings says:

          And of course if you can/t identify the aircraft yourself, the type is always printed at the top of the safety card.

    • Doug M says:

      I believe all the 767’s will be gone by October. Flew on one to Frankfurt weekend before last and CC said it was going that following Thursday.

  7. Bits OT – anyone found a decent use for 500 LH Miles & More points that’ll be expiring soon? Can’t see anything much in their shopping store and seems to be too low a value to transfer anywhere.

    Obviously a tiny amount but don’t like letting points go to waste!

    • Lady London says:

      All possible current conversion options should be on lufthansa webite under Miles & More. I have found the German version, for Germany shows a much wider choice of options.

      • Interesting, will have a check of German version in case any further options open up!

    • AndyGWP says:

      OT / Hijack (sorry Alan) – I’ve got a similar issue with Avianco Amigo points (500!) that are expiring soon from a Star Alliance status match I did a few years ago, if anyone has any suggestions 🙂

  8. OT

    About to book a flight to the US/MX with a mixture of KLM/AirFrance/Delta flights all on one booking

    I only really have a stake in Virgin Atlantic. Can i get some points for the CDG-ATL leg on delta vy crediting it to VS?

  9. Amex transfers to Starwood are now blocked until 21st August. So you’re stuffed if you wanted to redeem for a hotel or travel package at the old rates.

    • Two questions please Rob, firstly, are we expecting the transfer rate to effectively be the same 2:1 old system and 2:3 new system which will then effectively mirror Marriott points. Secondly, if I prebook a Marriott redemption this will remain at the rate I book now? It’s my first use in this manner and I’m confusing myself I think! I need 20000 Rewards Points for the redemption, so this will require 13600MR points? My other option is to buy the points which is still cheaper than the cost of the room.

    • Brendan says:

      Very frustrating. I purchased 30k SPG points last month but needed to transfer Amex points to have enough for a travel package. So now I have 70k SPG points and 40k amex points. Any ideas of best value approach at this stage? Still transfer spg to marriott?

  10. Robman says:

    O/T – could someone please provide me with a number and procedure for calling Iberia Plus about missing points from the recent 9000 Avios per flight promotion. Although I received a letter to state that they have reviewed my case and will pass it to the correct department for the points to be credited, that was over two weeks ago and the points have still not posted. I just need to know who to call to get this sorted once and for all hopefully.

  11. Anyone used Brussels Airlines economy long haul recently? Have they refitted the planes? Reviews from 2015 say the seats are bad, but I’d read that they have refit the planes recently and have also added bigger seat pitch? Have the choice of standard economy Brussels Airlines or United for LHR-NY.

  12. dgsupersonic says:

    OT: A bit of Club World history.

  13. moktar says:

    OT: Following a wizzair flight I have to kill 2 hours in Vienna airport tomorrow morning. With no onward boarding pass, can I access any of the lounges with my loungeclub pass?

  14. Thanks Crafty!

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